about me

This blog is part of a continuing journey for me and my camera
I have always taken photographs, and enjoyed the creativity involved, but when I started a family, I didn't have much time to do more than photograph our children and our home, holidays and such. Once our daughter Jodie was on the way I thought it was time to 'go digital' and we bought a 3mp bridge camera, a fuji, for just under £300. This was it - my film slr went into a cupboard and sat there for four years while I figured out how to use pixels instead of emulsion! Time passed and I felt I wanted to get more serious about photography and dslr prices were becoming more within our reach, so I had a Canon 400D (Rebel XTi) for a combined birthday/Christmas/Valentine's/wedding anniversary present in March 2008!

Making up for lost time
I took hundreds of photographs while I spent time learning the camera's settings and within a few months had begun to get some good creative results, mainly on aperture priority, by design rather than by accident! Although I studied photography for a module of my course at art college back in the early 1980s, I learned so much more in the first few months of having a dslr by trying out all kinds of things, reading mags to add to my knowledge. The learning curve was steep and I was loving it. I gave away my film slr to a photography student at Derby University, I knew I wouldn't put another film though it and his need was greater than mine.

Time for greater exposure
By the autumn of 2008 I felt I needed more input to my photography, I needed to be mixing with other fanatics! So I looked for a club to join and found a local photography club. I was given a warm welcome and joined almost straight away. I learned (and continue to learn) a great deal from competition judges and guest speakers; I have met some lovely people and made new friends who share my passion to one degree or another. I have missed only three meetings since I joined and look forward to the weekly 'fix' which is now a constant part of my life. I have also been encouraged to pursue a distinction with the Royal Photographic Society, and have been successful in achieving my LRPS in March 2011. It was my Dad who first encouraged me and tried to teach me about photography, he had a darkroom at our family home when I was little - the box room he used is still called the darkroom to this day! I wish he was here to see where I am now and it saddens me that I can share this with everyone but him. I transferred the distinction to The NPS in 2013.

The accidental photographer
I did not consciously set out to become a professional photographer, but a chain of events brought it about over time. I have been told I am a natural networker and through such networking I began to freelance for two other photographers. An event photographer did a practical demo of off-camera flash at the club and I asked if he might be able to help me with hosting images as a one-off - I had been asked to shoot a May Ball for a local school, and didn't have a website at that time. We ended up covering the event together and it was a great success, printing on the night and our images appearing on his website, and later in Derbyshire Life - I was thrilled to get a double page spread in the July issue! I have worked on several events since then and thoroughly enjoy it - though the late nights are a killer. I also had some impromptu training from a portrait photographer who shoots mainly children with a hi-key portable studio set-up, and have worked for him several times as well. I wouldn't say I really chased this work, but was encouraged to try it out, to learn, and really enjoy it.

Close to my heart
At around the same time that I joined the club, I came across an organisation based in the USA which provides remembrance portraits for families losing their baby. I lost a stillborn daughter in 2001 and although I have a few photographs of her they are not great, but they are all there is. I looked at what this organisation does for bereaved parents and decided this was something I must do for other parents going through this trauma. One of the criteria of becoming affiliated was to have a commercial website, and this was a significant influence on my taking my photography to another level. I became affiliated in the autumn on 2010 and help bereaved parents in my area. In 2014 I co-founded a dedicated UK organisation, Remember My Baby, to provide the same service.

Its a good idea to have A Project
I belong to an on-line community of "Mom Photographers" - I'm the only Brit, there's an Aussie, and the rest are in the USA, but we all have motherhood and photography in common. We are pro, semi-pro or aspiring to be, and we all have house and family to look after as well. I have learnt a lot from these lovely ladies since joining their group a couple of years ago. A member suggested late in 2008 that we might like to start a 365 photo a day project together, so a couple of dozen of us 'signed up' and I set up my 365 blog. This was a challenge in many ways, time management being one of them. But it served to stretch me creatively and I definitely grew as a photographer through making the commitment. I was amazed to find that I was the only one that completed the challenge!! I enjoyed sharing images and couldn't stop blogging, so set up a 52, a weekly blog. That was good, but it wasn't as good... so began another daily adventure for 2011 :0)

The girl can't help it
My name is Nicky and I am addicted to taking (and sharing) photographs ;0)